Perfect Sunday

We had great family lunch yesterday. My sister recently got back from NY with her family so they invited us for family gathering. It was very sunny day, couldn’t imagine better way to spend Sunday. My only task was to make a dessert while our husbands were busy doing everything else, from waking up at 4 am to get lamb from Island of Krk, choosing wine, preparing food and even decorating table.

I love having lunch with my family as we all appreciate precious moments we spend together, having good time making jokes on one’s expense and enjoying food set on table.  We had delicious meat menu, this time nothing vegetarian: spicy lamb chowder, grilled lamb chops and lamb roasted with potatoes and fresh rosemary.

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We tasted great wines… Cabernet Sauvignon 2007 Napa Valley from Grgich Hills Estate, Tomislav Tomac’s sparkling wine, light-skinned white wine grape Pošip from Grgich Hills Estate and Super Istrian Cuvee 2008 from Roxanich. I didn’t tried dessert wine as I was busy serving cake so I continued drinking my absolute favourite Cabernet Sauvignon that my sister and her husband bought directly from Grgich during their first visit in California.

IMG_2657         IMG_2661         Grgich hills

Lamb chowder was delicious, have to ask a recipe. It cooked for hours in wonderful Staub Dutch oven so it has to be yummy.

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My choise of desert was double layer chocolate cake, it would be a sin to continue lamb menu with something light as fruit cake, wouldn’t it? Here’s a recipe, you won’t regret trying although fondant decoration is not really necessary, it depends on occasion.

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Double layer chocolate cake

For biscuit:

– 8 egg whites

– 8 tbsp sugar

– 1/2 tsp salt

– 5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

– 1 tsp vanilla sugar

-1 tsp baking powder

-10 tbsp bread flour

– 3/4 cup plain yogurt

– 3/4 cup oil

Wisk together egg whites, salt and sugar. Mix until sugar is melted and egg whites firm. Slowly add yogurt, oil, cocoa powder,flour and baking powder.  Line ring mold (I used 10.2 in) with acetate paper and place it on a sheetpan. Measure the circumference of the ring mold and cut a strip of cake accordingly. Place mixture in mold and bake in preheated oven on 338 F for about 30′. Let it cool.

For dark chocolate ganache:

– 1 cup heavy cream

– 1/4 cup milk 

– 170 g fine 70 % chocolate

– 1 tsp granulated sugar

-1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Bring the heavy cream, milk, sugar and vanilla extract to a boil and pour over the  chopped chocolate. Mix slowly starting from the center until all incorporated and creamy. Let it cool. Place in fridge.

For white chocolate mousse:

– 1 and 1/2 cup heavy cream

– 170 g white chocolate

– 1 tsp granulated sugar

-1/2 tbsp vanilla extract

Mix heavy cream with sugar and vanilla extract until is tender, add melted and cooled white chocolate and mix until is reaches mousse texture. Let it cool in fridge.

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For fondant:

– 700 g powdered sugar

– 1 tbsp cold water

– 8 tbsp fruit sugar

– 6 tbsp cold water

– 1 tbsp glycerin

– 1 tbsp 14 g gelatin

IMG_2646                    Fondan

It was my first time making fondant so I was patient (you should also be if it’s your fist time). It’s actually not so complicated as it seems so one should try for fun.

First step is to measure 700 g sifted sugar and to place it in a large bowl. trying to make a well in the center. Dissolve fruit sugar with 1 tbsp cold water in small saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin over 6 tbsp water in a cup. Let sit for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently and then stir to dissolve gelatin. Don’t forget to add glycerin, it is really necessary for good rolled fondant. Pour the warmed, dissolved gelatin-glycerin mixture into the well over the top and mix in with rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Mix until the dough is too stiff to stir.  Knead dough until of the sugar is incorporated.

Transfer to a surface covered with powdered sugar and continue to knead until smooth and satiny. This will be the texture of clay. If the fondant is too dry, add in a few drops of water and if it is too dry, add in a bit of powdered sugar. Shape the fondant into a ball, flatten slightly and wrap well in plastic wrap. Let rest for 20 minutes before rolling and using. Put it in hermetic bowl in fridge, then it can be used for few months. When you want to use it place in microwave for few seconds. Be careful not to overheat because it gets very warm inside, 1-2 seconds are enough.

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Cut biscuit in half, cover one half with dark chocolate ganache and then carefully pour over white chocolate mousse. Finish with other half of biscuit. Then roll fondant bigger then you think it needs to be, put it back on rolling pin and put it directly over cake.  Cut off all excess using pizza or pastry cutter. If you have fondant smoother, smooth it all down. If not you’ll have to use your own hands, like I did. Unless it’s a wedding of special occasion cake, result will be quite good as well.

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That’s all folks. We all enjoyed cake, I hope you will too!

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